News from the Eagle’s Nest, November 2017.

Greetings to everyone who has a heart for this work.As we look back over the many challenges, successes and struggles, we know our strength has come from God.

God is true and faithful and we give Him first and all our praise for what He is doing in Wallacedene. The theme in the staff devotions over the past few months has been: “Do not worry, put your trust in Almighty God, maker of all things.” It is interesting that this has also been the thread running through the board meetings each month!

In January 2017, we admitted 60 new Grade R children. As I write, we have closed our admissions for 2018, with 60 new learners. Twelve prefects from Grade 6 & 7 were appointed and they have done a great job. They received some leadership training from Social Development, who also ran a course on various social issues, for Grade 7.

Art in the workplace

Simeon Van Der Bergh gave his time to teach animation in Grade 7 in the second term and the learners’ work was exhibited in June, at the 1st Thursday exhibition in Cape Town. We took 8 of the learners to the exhibition – it was a great experience for them. In the 3rd term, 8 of the learners were given a day’s work experience at Zapop Advertising Studios in Durbanville.

Grade 5 camp. Once again, grade 5 went on camp to Grabouw to Back2basics campsite in September. They had a wonderful time. Thank you to Mrs Tshuma, Mr Makondo and other staff members for their hard work.

Staff news.

Generally, the learning has been of a good standard this year. We constantly strive to do the best we can, and improve where possible. Mrs Tshuma, one of the Grade 5 teachers, was appointed Deputy Principal in September last year. She is fulfilling the role well while continuing to teach Grade 5. In January 2017 we appointed Mrs Zhou to Grade 7 and Ms Chickwanda to Grade 3.For the second half of this year, Mr Jamakanga has been acting as principal. We will make a decision before the end of the year whether he will continue in a full-time principal capacity in 2018.

The two “Mondes.”

Monde Nyengule (on the right), is our new part-time Afrikaans Teacher in Foundation Phase. Monde (on the left) is the new sports coach assigned to Eagle’s Nest through the WCED.

Buildings and plans:

The plans for the second stage of the Intermediate Phase classrooms were approved with conditions in July 2016. Since then, all the requirements have been met and we await a final inspection, when we can then expect the Municipality to finally approve the plans for the 3rd stage. While awaiting all this, we agreed to purchase 2 temporary classrooms, and this has been done. The Grade 3 and 4 classes were split and are now using these classrooms in addition to their other classrooms. It is working well, and teachers and children are benefitting from the smaller and more manageable classes plus the extra space. These classrooms will be used in the final stage, once the plans are passed. We also still require a further 3 classrooms to meet all the classroom needs. At this point in time, we do not have the funds to build so this is a priority of the board going forward. It is estimated we need a further R900, 000 to complete them.

Our major fundraising event at school was our Heritage Community Day. It was a great success and raised over R12, 000, which is a lot of money when you consider the people attending were all from within the community. A big thank you to Mr Mutoko, staff and parents who worked hard together to make this day a success!

There have been a lot of changes, improvements and successes in the past year. Nevertheless, we are aware that the future of the school is dependent on more funds coming in. I realize that people respond well to regular contact and information and this has been an area that has suffered because of lack of time and energy on my part. If I am to successfully complete my responsibilities, I need to be freed from the huge task of running a now quite large school. Hopefully this will happen in 2018.

In ending, the Board and I wish to thank one and all for every effort that you have made towards making Eagle’s Nest a safe and happy place for learners and teachers to be every day. May God continue to bless you all. Thank you all.